November 27, 2020

Yankees Streak On The Line

Photo By Bill Menzel / Gotham Baseball

With the Yankees being led by young players like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Luis Severino, it would seem like the last thing the Yankees are concerned about is time. Judging from their history and the Yankees coffers, the surprising run this season should prove to be the next great run in Yankees history.

If you also look at the Yankees history, you will also see the Yankees are running out of time.

Since Babe Ruth joined the New York Yankees in 1920, the Yankees have made it to at least on World Series in each and every decade. The apex was the 1950s when Yankee teams predominantly featuring Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle would reach the World Series in eight of 10 years winning six titles. The nadir was the 1980s when the Yankees just reached the World Series in the strike shortened 1981 season losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Astonishingly, this was also the only decade where the Yankees did not wear multiple World Series titles.

In the 2010s, the Yankees have yet to reach a World Series. In fact, until this season, the Yankees have yet to even win a game in the ALCS this decade. In a startling turn of events, the New York Mets have actually appeared in more World Series in the decade. That is something that has never happened since the Mets inception in 1962, and no New York franchise has done since the 1910s.

So, believe it or not, there is a bit of pressure on the Yankees franchise over the remainder of this ALCS as the Yankees chances of reaching the World Series are dwindling. Since the institution of the Wild Card format, it has become more and more challenging to reach a World Series. As the 1997 Yankees could attest, or even this year’s Indians team, reaching the World Series is far from a certainty for even the best teams over the course of the regular season.

Overall, while Judge and Sanchez are building their own legacies, they are being entrusted to carry on with the existing Yankees legacy. So no, for this new core of Yankee players, there isn’t much pressure on them to get to the World Series. However, in terms of the broader history of the franchise, time is running out. It really is an interesting dichotomy that we should see play out over the final two games of this ALCS and the ensuing two seasons.